Convention turns into a madhouse DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

DELEGATE'S DIARY

July 17, 1992

Susan Wood of Aberdeen is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. A graduate student in the School of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University, she is writing of her experiences.

New York was certainly a madhouse yesterday. Clinton jumped ahead in the polls and Perot jumped out.

I actually jumped from press conference to press conference in hopes of getting the early scoop. The energy in the entire delegation has been building day by day, but the news of Perot has added the big question of which side can court his vote.

I went back to the pin peddler I had befriended this week for the last time yesterday. Pin peddlers are good friends to have during the convention. I'm now better educated on how to make a real deal. New Yorkers love to haggle. I've been able to pick up some real collector's items in exchange for some of my spare Tsongas buttons. I wonder if they'll be collector's items someday.

The most impressive part of this convention has been meeting all the people -- from the senators, congresspeople, and chairpeople to the little "media bugs," the youngest members of our delegation who have been getting press attention. Now that The Sun is being delivered to our breakfast tables (I, in fact, made it to breakfast on time yesterday), this column is becoming popular conversation piece. So I would like to tell you about some of the goings-on this week.

Brenda Brisbane, my roommate and another media bug, snores . . . loudly.

Pat Smith rented a limousine and shoved the entire Tsongas delegation into it for a trip between parties as Pat Dauenhauer hung out of the sunroof.

And Sen. Barbara Mikulski gets up early with Rep. Tom McMillen each day for a little one- on-one hoops. And the entire delegation took a straw vote yesterday morning and in our first truly united vote, we decided that Cal Ripken should be a lifetime Oriole. Sign him.

Lastly, on a more serious note, I would like to thank Nathan Landow for a great week, and The Sun for letting me share it with Maryland.

I would like to extend a special thanks to Pat Smith for his leadership during the primary season and for the class with which he handled his delegates at the convention.

It's been fun.

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